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PostPosted: Jul 12th, '10, 18:11 
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OK, thought I'll update and let you guys know where I'm at.
soldered all strings together for all 4 panels, all were looking good, but while I was testing the last 2 strings of 9 gush of wind picked them up a smashed them to pieces :cry:
so I should have all the cells mounted on the insert of 3 panels,
got a quote for the Acrylic covering today and found it quite expensive, gunna cost about $200 all up!
Will have to put the brakes on for a couple of weeks till i can run into some money!
at the moment any spare money goes into my second AP system which I have to get up and running so that I don't end up with dead trout.

Got hold of the 150ah battery today :D
Will post some progress pictures soon

regards

Matt

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PostPosted: Jul 15th, '10, 20:11 
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Here's some photos of the progress so far, will have to get another 18 cells to complete the last panel due to them being damaged.
Will most likely hook up the battery and solar as a back up till I can
1- repair the final solar cell
2- afford to build the frames.
hopefully next week I'll purchase a solar charger, the one I'm looking at is going to be rated twice the current that I require so that there is no issues if I have to add a panel.

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matt


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PostPosted: Jul 18th, '10, 10:15 
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After mentioning power factor in my previous post, I decided to test a 100watt pump I have running a fish tank with my power annalyser. I new the power factor would be a bit low (all motors are), but I was surprised at how low it was. To briefly explain power factor, a load that has a power factor of 1(eg.heating elements) will draw from the supply the actual current required by the load. When the power factor lags (eg. electric motors) the current draw from the supply is more than the load requires. In my case with the 100watt pump the power factor was 0.48 and the current reading was 0.67amps, when I corrected it with a 8uF capacitor connected in parallel the power factor rose to 0.95 and the current reading was now 0.33amps, I have reduced the current draw by half. You don,t save any money in power costs by correcting the power factor (unless you are a commercial or industrial customer) because domestic customers arn't charged for it, but if your running from solar and or have battery back-up systems you can increase your capacity substantially. The following pictures show the effect the capacitor has on current(A).
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PostPosted: Jul 18th, '10, 10:29 
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I have discovered a problem with using capacitors with Inverters, modified sine wave inverters don't like capacitors. My 300watt modified sine wave inverter will run the 100watt pump without the capacitor connected fine, but not when it is connected. I have contacted the Inverter people and they say pure sine wave Inverters will do the job, so I have ordered one and I will let you know how it goes.

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PostPosted: Jul 18th, '10, 10:42 
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Pure sine wave cost a little bit more.
Found a 45w pump that pumps 3900l/h at 1.5m, but costs $400.
bit pricey.
I pretty sure you can eliminate the power factor issue if you use a DC pump, depending on the amount of water you want to pump. (I may have that wrong)
Please let me know how you go with the Pure sine wave inverter and how much you end up paying for it.

Regards
Matt

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PostPosted: Jul 19th, '10, 12:11 
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Hooked up the back up system on the weekend to my first AP system (temporarily) and also ordered a 30amp solar charger which should give me enough room to add another 120w of solar panels if needed.
Next step is to hook up 1 x 60w panel to the solar regulator, to top up the 150a/h battery,
I have question, when hooking up your back up pump, do you spray water over the top of the FT or can you continue adding the water to the GB. At present I've got it to the GB and plan to put a T in it and divert some back to the FT. anybody have any preferences???

Regards

Matt


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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '10, 11:59 
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Made some progress today, with the solar system. Received my 30amp solar charger during the week and began building the frame to house the solar cells.
going to give it a couple of coats of paint and then ready for the acrylic top. At this present moment it can hold 180w of solar panel, I plan to build the same again so that I'll have 360w in total.
Anyhow here's some pictures

regards

Matt


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PostPosted: Jul 24th, '10, 21:35 
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Nice big panel Matt... I left our solar system idle for too long after the in inverter blew, it's been running on power for the last 6-8 months. Got a new inverter last week, charged the battery up and set it off on solar again but the battery only keeps enough charge to run less than 24 hours, when it used to last for 3-4 days.... New battery requred... :cry:

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PostPosted: Jul 25th, '10, 00:59 
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Check your battery cables. Our power was running down overnight and I thought maybe the batteries were done but there was one loose/corroded cable that needed fixing. Running much better now.

What kind of batteries are they? Some tolerate idling better than others.

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PostPosted: Jul 25th, '10, 05:07 
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Hey Matt,

Looks marvelous. Is there anyway you can replace the broken ones? Since they are wired in series, they have to supply the same amount of current as the ones next to them. But, since they don't have the same area, they can't. Essentially they become a "load" to the others that are in series with them. Maybe you already knew that?

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PostPosted: Jul 25th, '10, 19:28 
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kwieland wrote:
Hey Matt,

Looks marvelous. Is there anyway you can replace the broken ones? Since they are wired in series, they have to supply the same amount of current as the ones next to them. But, since they don't have the same area, they can't. Essentially they become a "load" to the others that are in series with them. Maybe you already knew that?

K


Kwieland,
Yep just finished replacing them tonight, just have to wait till there is a little sunshine to test them. Just got to hook the 3 panels up in parallel and get the acrylic laid on top and solar panel is done.

regards
Matt

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PostPosted: Jul 27th, '10, 04:21 
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Good to hear. Hate to have a lower efficiency due to the broken ones. Did you end up finding a cheaper encapsulant/sealant?


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PostPosted: Aug 18th, '10, 20:52 
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Update time.

Had to come up with the funds to purchase the UV acrylic sheeting to cover the solar panel. that should arrive tomorrow. Very expensive stuff but purchased a 2m x 3m sheet. so i actually have enough to make another 2 panels the same size.

not to far away from putting it all together :lol: :lol:

here's a photo of the panel while i was testing it in about 4pm sunlight.
results were 20.2v and dead short amps were 8.5.

regards

Matt


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PostPosted: Aug 19th, '10, 11:50 
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Looking good Matt.
Will be interested to see how it all goes.

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PostPosted: Aug 19th, '10, 19:26 
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I received my 600watt pure sine wave inverter the other day which cost $280.00 and put it to the test on the 100watt pump with power factor correction capacitor. This time the pump ran without the inverter shutting down, but to my surprise it made no difference to the DC amp draw from the battery. Correcting the power factor definitely makes a difference when using a generator, giving it more capacity, but it seems not so with Inverters at least on the battery side of things. I have emailed the Inverter people to explain why, but have not heard back yet.

Matt, I see you mentioned previously about using DC pumps, I am not sure that would be a good idea as most DC motors contain brushes and would not last long with continuos use?

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